Monday, August 26, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction--Using the Em Dash--August 26, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction
August 26, 2013
Update: Not a lot to update this week. Almost finished with a 400-page editing job, and then did a couple smaller proofreading jobs. Now ready to begin editing a 300-page novel….Just found out I didn’t win the contest last week for my “Gray-Haired Lady” story, but thanks to all of you for voting. When I read all the rules, I couldn’t believe anyone took the time to vote. It was very confusing, and I won’t enter again!
Trying to get over a week or more of hoarseness; guess it’s just from allergies and all the junk in the air. Also a little worried about my husband as one of his tests from his physical came out too high—too much protein in the urine, which is bad for a diabetic. Under 80 is normal, 80-299 mild, over 300 not good, and his was 546. One medicine that should help, he’s already been taking for over a year, and the other one he’s allergic to and it sent him to the ER several years ago when he took it. He’s been really tired lately and sleeping a lot which concerns me too. So hopefully the doctor will call back today with another solution….
Other prayer requests: 1) for our daughter Patty who continues to have a high white count and a high liver count, and will have an endoscopy; and 2) for my writing friend Peggy whose husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this week.

Thought for Today: When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, I used everything you gave me” (author unknown, but one similar to this was said by Erma Bombeck).
Laugh for Today:
Bulletin Bloopers
·         If you would like to make a donation, fill out a form, enclose a check and drip in the collection basket.
·         Women's Luncheon: Each member bring a sandwich. Polly Phillips will give the medication.
·         If you choose to heave during the Postlude, please do so quietly.
·         Sign-up sheet for anyone wishing to be water baptized on the table in the foyer.
·         Newsletters are not being sent to absentees because of their weight. 
·         The Advent Retreat will be held in the lover level of St. Mary's Cathedral. 
·         As soon as the weather clears up, the men will have a goof outing.
·         Diana and Don request your presents at their wedding.
·         Lent is a period for preparing for Holy Weed and Easter.
·         For the word of God is quick and powerful...piercing even to the dividing asunder of soup and spirit.
·         Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peach to men. 
·         Volunteers are needed to spit up food.
·         We pray that our people will jumble themselves.
Reader’s Question: You changed my two hyphens to what you called an “em dash,” but do I put spaces before and after this dash?
Reply: There is no space before, between, or after this dash. You can make this dash in two ways in Microsoft Word: If you type two hyphens, then the next word, as soon as you hit the space bar after the next word, it will make a dash. Or, you can also make a dash by clicking on Ctrl, Alt, and the minus key on your number pad.
There is another dash called an "en" dash that you use between dates, i.e., 1980–1984, or between Scripture references if it goes from one chapter to another, i.e., Genesis 1–2. You make that by clicking on Ctrl and the minus key.
I include a list of Microsoft shortcuts in the appendices of A Step in the Write Direction, or I can send you one by email upon request.
 Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.
Donna Clark Goodrich
"A Step in the Write Direction--the Complete How-to Guide for Christian Writers"
"The Freedom of Letting Go"

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction--proofreading/editing jobs
August 19, 2013
Update: I have a story in a contest, and the winner depends on the number of votes. If you like, would you go to and vote for mine. Thanks!
I got a call from an editor this week, saying he liked my writer's devotional book and would like to offer me a contract. He went on and on about all they would do: It'd be in all the Christian bookstores, as well as Barnes & Noble, etc., etc. Everything would be at their expense—cover, marketing, etc. It sounded real good until the end. "All we ask our authors to do," he casually continued, "is to buy 2500 copies within the first 30 days. At your cost, that would be only $5,000. Would that be a problem for you?"
That’s all? He said he'd send me a "sample" contract as he didn't want the committee to go to the work of preparing an actual contract until they knew what I wanted to do. I told him I'd pray about it, but I already knew my decision. It's like they say, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!” But I believe in the book (52 devotions for writers), and feel I can find a publisher.

Thought for the Day:
I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no powr's, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

©1995 Kingsway's Thankyou Music
Words and Music by Stuart Townend
Laugh for the Day:
·         The problem with political jokes is they get elected. - Henry Cate, VII 
·         If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these State of the Union speeches, there wouldn't be any inducement to go to heaven. - Will Rogers
·         Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build bridges even where there is no river. - Nikita Khrushchev
·         Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you. - Author unknown
·         Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and order more tunnels. - John Quinton 
·         Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks. - Doug Larson
Reader’s Question: We met a dozen years ago at Write to Publish. At that time, you said you supported you and your husband with your writing and editing. I just became the supporter of my family so writing and editing moves from supplement to primary income. Do you have tips to help me contact publishers and offer my skills as an editor and writer or ghostwriter?
Reply: Most of my income comes from proofreading and, at present, I do about 50 books a year for a large Christian publishing house. I got into proofreading by finding typos in books and sending them in. I started with a small publisher, and then they went out of business and the editor I knew went to the one I work for now. I've been with them over 15 years.
Almost all of my editing jobs come through the annual Arizona Christian Writers Conference which I began in 1982, ran for 7 years, and then turned it over to Reg Forder who, a few years later, went nationwide with American Christian Writers. When I have appointments with writers, I ask to see the manuscripts the day before, if possible. I edit a few pages, then show my work to them and tell them my rates. I also do the same thing with writers I meet at other conferences where I teach. Some jobs also come from word-of-mouth. If the writers request it, I'll offer to do a few pages free just to show them my work.
To get started, contact a writers’ group in your area and let them know of your interest. You can also go through the Christian Writers Market Guide, pick out some publishers, and send your resume to the Production Manager (not an editor).
Re: ghostwriting, the only time I did that was for my songwriter nephew’s book (Healing in God’s Time), although I’ve had people ask me. Cecil Murphey just had a number of really good blogs on ghostwriting. You can find them at:
Hope this helps!
Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page.
Donna Clark Goodrich

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction--Book pages order

A Step in the Write Direction
August 12, 2013
Tomorrow, August 13, my husband Gary and I will celebrate our 53rd anniversary. There were many times I didn’t think we’d make our 50th—his heart attack at 48 and many other health issues. We got engaged after knowing each other only three weeks. The story of our courtship is both humorous and God-touched. (If you’d like to read the story, it’s attached. For those who don’t get this via email, just email me and I’ll send it to you.)…After a rather slow time of work, suddenly it exploded: 5 proofreading jobs and several editing jobs—all to be finished by the end of August. But I’m not complaining; I’m thankful for work I can do at home and take care of my husband.
Here’s another “thought for the day.” Read the following verse, putting your name wherever the words “I” or “me” appear: “_______ am crucified with Christ: nevertheless _______ live; yet not _______, but Christ liveth in _______: and the life which ______ now live in the flesh _______ live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved _______, and gave himself for _______” (Galatians 2:20). Takes on a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?
Thought for the Day:
“Show Me the Way of the Cross”
I have given like a beggar, but lived like the rich,
and crafted myself a more comfortable cross.
Yet what I am called to is deeper than this;
it’s time you had my whole life,
you can have it all.”
—Matt Redman, Singing the Faith, 452.
Laugh for the Day:
If walking/cycling is good for your health, the postman would be immortal. A whale swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water, and is fat. A rabbit runs and hops and lives only 15 years. A tortoise doesn't run, does nothing ...yet lives for 450 years. And you tell me to exercise?
Writer’s Tips:
Page order for your book per Chicago Manual of Style. It's the "Bible" of publishing.

Title page
Copyright notice page
(Table of) Contents
Foreword (This is another writer's endorsement of the book)
Preface (Written by author, but is often not included if the introduction meets the need)
Acknowledgements (If not part of the preface)
Introduction (If not part of the text)
Appendix(es) (if needed)
Notes (if needed)
Glossary (if needed)
Bibliography (if needed)
(List of) contributors
Index(es) (if needed)
Have a good week spreading the
gospel through the printed page!
Donna Clark Goodrich

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction--Choosing a Title--August 5, 2013

A Step in the Write Direction
August 5, 2013
A somewhat busy week: Almost done with a 409-page editing job; just have to read it over one more time; and finished a 147-page proofing job. Then had a chance to send out four of my books to different publishers…. Heard a song the other night by the Oak Ridge Boys that caused me to think. Part of the words go like this: “Did I make a difference in somebody's life?...When my race is run, when my song is sung, Will I have to wonder, did I make a difference?” I remember a speaker at a writers’ conference once asking, “So you’ve sold ‘x’ amount of books and articles. The question is, ‘Have you changed someone’s life?’” Good question for Christian writers to ask themselves!
Thought for the Day:
Mr. Meant To has a comrade,
And his name is Didn’t Do;
Have you ever chanced to meet them?
Did they ever call on you?
These two fellows live together
In the house of Never Win;
And I’m told that it is haunted
By the ghost of Might Have Been.
Laugh for the Day:
An old farmer at an insurance company reported that his barn burned down and wanted to collect cash for the loss. But the insurance agent said they won’t give cash, but they would replace the old building with a new one built in the same size and shape. The farmer then said, “If that’s your policy, I want to cancel my insurance on my wife.”
Writers’ Tips:
Choosing a Title
After typing your personal and manuscript information, center your title about one-third down the page. Make it catchy enough to hook the editor, and then the reader. Some writers say it doesn’t matter what title you put on your manuscript, the editor will change it anyway. But if you come up with a good title, a busy editor will gladly keep it. Plus, it will grab his attention even if he changes it later.
In choosing a title, you can use part of a Scripture verse or another quotation, the title of a song, or a thought relating to the story’s theme. I used a phrase from Scripture, “Such As I Have,” for a short story; for an article on upholstery “The Great Cover-Up”; and for an article on water beds (back when they were popular), I used the quotation, “Water, Water Everywhere, but Not a Drop to Drink.”
I’ve found that numbers also work well in titles. An article I wrote on buying the perfect present called “Gifts That Make a Difference” never sold. But after I changed the title to “100-Plus Gifts That Make a Difference,” I sold it several times.
Someday while you’re standing in a checkout line, take a look at the titles of articles on the front of magazines. Do they tempt you to read the rest of the article? One of my friends sold an article entitled “My Father Never Told Me He Loved Me.” Wouldn’t you love to read on to see how this affected the writer? Did it leave her angry, or did it make her determined to show more love to her child?
Don’t use a clever title just to attract your readers, and then give them an article that doesn’t follow through with the theme. (For example, a splashy headline in a tabloid about a health scare a popular singer was ashamed to admit turned out to be only a weight problem.)
Another hint is to tie your title in with the opening or closing paragraph of your article, or both. A travel article on Yuma, Arizona, titled “Yuma, the Swinging Gate,” begins with the thought that Yuma is the gateway into Arizona for those coming from California and into California for Arizonians. After describing the town’s history and then bringing the reader up-to-date on its progress, the final paragraph repeats the opening thought by saying, “Yuma is not only a gateway swinging into California and Arizona, but it also swings into the past with pride and into the future with confidence.”
What’s in a title? Plenty, if it catches the eye of an editor and leads to a sale.
Enjoy your week spreading the
gospel through the printed page!
Donna Clark Goodrich